Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Gallbladder Cancer

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 3/2013
Questions to Ask the Doctor

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ON THIS PAGE: You will find some questions to ask your doctor or other members of your health care team, to help you better understand your diagnosis, treatment plan, and overall care. To see other pages in this guide, use the colored boxes on the right side of your screen, or click “Next” at the bottom.

Talking often with the doctor is important to make informed decisions about your health care. These suggested questions are a starting point to help you learn more about your cancer care and treatment. You are also encouraged to ask additional questions that are important to you. You may want to print this list and bring it to your next appointment, or download Cancer.Net’s free mobile app for an e-list and other interactive tools to manage your care.

General questions:

  • What type of cancer do I have?
  • What is the stage of the cancer? What does this mean?
  • Can you explain my pathology (laboratory test results) report to me?
  • Are other tests needed to confirm this diagnosis?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What clinical trials are open to me?
  • What treatment plan do you recommend? Why?
  • What is the goal of each treatment? Is it to eliminate the cancer, help me feel better, or both?
  • Who will be part of my health care team, and what does each member do?
  • Who will be coordinating my overall treatment and follow-up care?
  • How experienced is the gastroenterologist?
  • What are the possible side effects of each treatment, both in the short term and the long term?
  • How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, or perform my usual activities?
  • Could this treatment affect my sex life? If so, how and for how long?
  • Could this treatment affect my ability to become pregnant or have children? If so, should I talk with a fertility specialist before cancer treatment begins?
  • If I’m worried about managing the costs related to my cancer care, who can help me with these concerns?
  • What support services are available to me? To my family?
  • Whom should I call for questions or problems?

Questions to ask before surgery:

  • What is the purpose of the surgery?
  • What are the side effects of the surgery I’m having?
  • Will I need to stay in the hospital for this surgery? If so, for how long?
  • How long will recovery from the surgery take?

Questions to ask before radiation therapy:

  • What type of radiation therapy is recommended?
  • What is the purpose of the radiation therapy?
  • How long will each treatment be? How often will I need these treatments?
  • What side effects can I expect from this treatment?
  • What can be done to help relieve the side effects?

For patients who need chemotherapy:

  • What type of chemotherapy is recommended?
  • What is the purpose of the chemotherapy?
  • How long will each chemotherapy treatment be? How often will I need these treatments?
  • What side effects can I expect from this treatment?
  • What can be done to help relieve the side effects?

After treatment:

  • What are the chances that the cancer will return?
  • What follow-up tests do I need, and how often do I need them?

To continue reading this guide, choose “Next” (below, right) to see some additional resources that may be helpful to you. Or, use the colored boxes located on the right side of your screen to visit any section.

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